Memory Fades, Memory Adjusts, Memory Conforms... 'Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold'

"When Didion's nephew, actor and director Griffin Dunne, set out to make a documentary about her, this iconography, and Didion's stature as a beloved literary icon, loomed large."
Author:
Publish date:

Discussing the new Netflix documentary

Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold

,

Jessica Mach writes

, "There are certain images that one associates with Joan Didion, the prolific American writer: Didion in front of a 1969 Corvette Stingray. The packing list she kept taped inside her closet door, so that she could depart for any reporting trip at a moment's notice. A spate of photographs that, in their consistency, might as well be one, in which her gaze is fixed doggedly, unwaveringly on the camera. Often, half her face is eclipsed by dark sunglasses. She is nearly always smoking.

"When Didion's nephew, actor and director Griffin Dunne, set out to make a documentary about her, this iconography, and Didion's stature as a beloved literary icon, loomed large." To read the full article,

click here

"The documentary takes a loosely chronological structure, but more than anything it's arranged around Didion's best-known writing,"

says Jake Nevins

. "There are segments devoted to her reporting from the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco in the late 1960s, as well as Didion's political journalism from the 90s, her essay on the Central Park Five, the screenplay

Panic in Needle Park

, and her later autobiographical works,

The Year of Magical Thinking

and

Blue Nights

, both heart-wrenching voyages through Didion's grief after the deaths of her husband and daughter." To read the full article,

click here

.

"I had the narration to her whole life story just by from pulling from what she's written about her life," Dunne tells

Esther Zuckerman

. "But what could I do so it wouldn't just be an audiobook for the eyes? For the sections that I knew I would be reading, I would try to put them in context with what was going on in the world and where she was in her life in a visual way, and then reinforce what she was saying on the page with the interviews that people had about her at those times in her life. I always had hope that the movie itself would feel very much like a tapestry." To read the full interview with Dunne,

click here

.

Joan Didion Director: "She's Always Been Painted as This Mystic, Gloomy Figure"

The Most Revealing Moment in the New Joan Didion Documentary

Inside the Essential New Joan Didion Documentary

Griffin Dunne Turns Lens on Joan Didion's Legacy in Netflix Doc

Their Love Letter to Aunt Joan (Didion)

Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold Plays It As It Lays

Imaginary Forces Opens Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold

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